keyword research

Keyword Research for Search Optimization

What is keyword research?

I prefer to think of keyword research, as audience research. It is the process of seeking to understand (and forecast) how your audience seeks out information online and how they use that to make buying decisions.

Why is keyword research important?

Because organic search continues to be a leading source of traffic; a large part of providing user-friendly content means content that is easy to find. Keyword research allows you to answer the questions that your target audience is asking.

One of the most pivotal factors to rank well on search engines like Google is, user intent. Intent is important because it powers inbound marketing strategies, advertising campaigns and ultimately company growth.

The following is a keyword research process you can follow to help discover and pinpoint a list of target keywords you should be targeting to optimize your inbound marketing campaign.

How To Do Keyword Research

1. Understanding Your target audience

Pull demographic data from:

  • Google Analytics
  • Social Media audience insights
  • SEMrush Competitor Analysis
  • Customer surveys

Use Google Analytics to pull conversion data by traffic source.

View the landing page and behavior flow reports to see how they are currently interacting with the website.

Now that you have an idea of who your audience is and what pages on the website they’re most interested in. Join social media groups, find IG influencers, browse Pinterest. Look for recurring topics, popular hashtags, common questions, take in the overall “vibe.”

Read the comments, is there a pattern to the sites that are sourced? Where do they receive trusted information online?

These are the platforms you need to learn. Research what terms (those) algorithms are using.

Using Google as an example, create a document to keep track of notes and search (from your target location) the popular phrases you learned while researching your audience. You will be keeping track of related search suggestions, featured snippets, carousel, PAA, top pages.

You’re looking for a commonality or a pattern emerging.

2. Test with Google ads

Time to test your theory. Running ads is an incredible, real time, science experiment. 

Watch which reterms have the largest click through rate, time on page, conversion rate and cost per conversion.

Look for:

  • which search queries triggered the ads
  • which search queries have the largest CTR
  • which keywords have the highest/lowest bounce rate
  • which keywords converted
  • which keywords spent the most time on page
  • Auction insights, how competitive is this space
Track Keyword Performance

Arguably one of the most important aspects of a successful keyword strategy is tracking performance and analyzing results.

Create a recurring spreadsheet and include data points important to you such as:

  • search topic
  • click through rate
  • impressions
  • conversion rate
  • conversion value.

Wondering why I didn’t mention average position or keyword volume? Just ask..